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Crispy Roast Pork (Thit Heo Quay)

The super crispy skin is so unique and so tasty!

I find most animal skins to be rather slimy and too fatty for consumption and so am not a fan, however, I break all the rules for this delectable dish.  With its thick, crispy skin and juicy, savory meat roasted to perfection, this dish is truly unique tasting.  The recipe is simple with an easy-to-make and flavorful marinade.  You can use any marinade you like but to get that distinct Asian roast pork flavor, be sure to use a little 5-spice powder and some soy sauce.  To achieve the deliciously crispy and bubbly pork skin, there are numerous techniques with some yielding better results than others.  So in this recipe, I’ve eliminated all of the guesswork.  This is a no-fuss, no-fail recipe!  The only work you have to do is to watch the timer and adjust the oven temperature as needed.  It’s hardly work at all 🙂  Enjoy!!

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

When buying pork belly, try to find a piece that has the same thickness all around.  Also, examine the skin and make sure it doesn’t have any abrasions, markings or imbedded hairs.  If frozen pork belly is all you can find, no worries, just make sure the pork is completely thawed before prepping.

The red food coloring is optional.  It gives the skin a nice rich color as does the roast pork seasoning mix used in the marinade.

The marinade is enough for up to 3 lbs of pork belly.  It’s ok if you don’t use all of the marinade so don’t drench the meat.

Avoid getting the marinade on the pork skin.  It will prevent the skin from getting crispy.

The longer the meat is refrigerated, the drier the skin will be and the crispier the results after roasting.  For even better results, let the pork rest in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Level the meat using folded pieces of foil placed underneath the meat.  This helps the skin to brown and crisp evenly and you don’t have to stress if the pork belly isn’t perfectly even.

Position the roasting pan in the oven so the meat is about 6-8 inches away from the top heating element.

When the meat is fully cooked the internal temperature is approximately 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

My oven has a Broil High and a Broil Low option.  For this recipe, I use the Broil High setting.  If your Broil High is particularly hot, use the Low setting.  Be careful with the second round of broiling.  The skin has a tendency to burn during this stage if left unattended.  If certain sections of the skin are browning up faster than others and you fear they will get burnt, tear off small sections of foil and cover up these areas.  It’s perfectly normal to have some charred spots.  If you don’t like these extra crispy areas, you can scrape them with a knife like you would with over-toasted bread.

Cut up only the portion you plan to eat right away.  Wrap up any uneaten amounts and store in the refrigerate for up to 1 week.  To reheat, warm the pork in the toaster oven at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.  You’ll notice the skin will continue to crisp up when reheating.  If you love super crispy skin, you’ll really enjoy these leftovers as the pork reheats really nicely.

You can also freeze any uneaten amounts for up to 3 months.

Watch the video below for instructions. 

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Easy Roast Pork (Thit Xa Xiu), Roast Duck (Vit Quay) and Asian-Style Stuffed Cornish Game Hens.

Ingredients

1 tsp white distilled vinegar
2 drops red food coloring

2 1/2 lb pork belly
2 tsp salt

Marinade
1 tsp 5-spice powder
1 tsp roast pork/char sui/Chinese BBQ seasoning
1 tsp oyster sauce
1 tsp Hoisin sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp Vodka 5-Spice Marinade

1 tsp vinegar

Directions

In a small bowl, combine 1 tsp of vinegar with 2 drops of red food coloring and set aside for now.

In a measuring cup, add 5-spice powder, roast pork seasoning, oyster sauce, Hoisin sauce, soy sauce and Vodka 5-Spice Marinade and stir together.

Sprinkle each side of the pork belly with 1 tsp salt and then rub into the meat.  Rinse the pork with cool water washing off the salt.  Pat the meat dry with paper towels.  Place the pork skin side down on more paper towels.

Make vertical cuts in the meat about 1/2-inch deep and 1-inch apart being careful not to cut to the skin.  Trim if any loose or excess fat.

Use a brush to coat the meat with the marinade making sure to work the marinade into the cuts made earlier.  Apply the marinade to the meat only and avoid getting the marinade on the pork skin.

Place the pork with the skin side up into a large baking dish or plate.  Brush more marinade onto the sides of the pork belly, again, being careful not to get any on the skin.  Sprinkle salt and gently rub into the skin.  Brush the skin with the vinegar and red food coloring solution prepared earlier.

Place the uncovered baking dish into the refrigerator and allow to marinate for at least 8 hours.

Remove from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before roasting.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pour 1 cup water into the bottom of a roasting pan.  Place the pork belly skin side up onto the roasting pan.

If the pork belly has an uneven thickness, place folded pieces of foil underneath the meat to level it.

Brush the skin with a thin layer of vinegar.

Place the roasting pan into the oven and roast for 30 minutes.

Brush the skin with another thin layer of vinegar.   Set the oven to Broil and roast for 10 minutes.  (At this point, you’ll see bubbles forming on the skin.)

Adjust the temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit again and roast for 15 minutes.

Turn the oven to Broil again and roast for 5-10 minutes until the skin has lots of crispy bubbles and is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Cut the pork belly into strips following the cuts made earlier.  Chop the meat into bite-sized pieces.

Yields: 4-6 servings

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

Serve the Crispy Roast Pork with Fine Rice Noodles, Fresh Herbs, Carrot and Radish Pickles and Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce for a truly delicious Viet meal!

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Mock Roast Pork/Seitan Roast Pork (Mi Can Xa Xiu)

Can you believe this is completely vegetarian?I love seitan and have touted its versatility as a tasty meat substitute in earlier posts.  I’ve shared the basic seitan recipe and the one below is essentially the same except for two things:  1) we add soy sauce to the water to give it color and saltiness 2) we use a bit more baking powder to give it a more meat-like texture.   The fun part of this recipe is that we don’t just make a shapeless blob of seitan roast pork.  Instead we use corn husks to wrap the seitan to give it texture similar to the grain in meat.  The trick is not to wrap the bundle too tightly as seitan expands quite a bit when boiled.  Also, we don’t need to be precise with the wrapping.  The varying shapes make it more natural and meat-like.  I hope you’ll give the recipe a try and let me know what you think!

Not a fan of the packaged seasoning for roast pork?  Don’t like all the food coloring and sugar?  Below is my recipe for a homemade marinade.  If using this version, omit the store-bought roast pork seasoning + soy sauce and use this to marinate the cooked seitan instead.

Homemade Marinade

1/2 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1/4 tsp 5-spice powder
2 Tbsp gluten-free tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbsp sweet sake or rice wine
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 Tbsp sesame oil

Watch the video below for instructions.

Ingredients

3/4 cup warm water
1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup vital wheat gluten
3 corn husks, moistened
2 Tbsp roast pork/char sui/Chinese BBQ seasoning
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup water

Directions

In a large bowl combine water, soy sauce, salt and baking powder.  Sift in the vital wheat gluten and mix well.   Work the dough in your hands making sure all dry vital wheat gluten is completely incorporated.  Shape and squeeze the dough into a large ball.  This helps to compact the dough and remove any air pockets.  Flatten the dough and return to the bowl.  Allow to rest for 1 hour.

Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces.  Loosely wrap each piece of seitan in the corn husk and secure with twine.

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.  Add the seitan.  Reduce the heat to Medium Low and boil the seitan for 15 minutes.  Every 5 minutes, rotate the seitan so it cooks evenly.  Remove, drain in a colander and allow to cool for 5 minutes before unwrapping.

Prepare the marinade by combining the roast pork seasoning with the soy sauce.  Add the seitan and rotate in the marinade coating all the pieces completely.  Marinate for 1 hour.  After 1 hour, rotate the pieces and marinate for another hour.

Heat a skillet over Medium High heat.  Add oil and seitan.  Pan fry on each side for 1 minute.  Add the water.  Swirl and flip the seitan coating the pieces in the sauce and cook until the water is completely evaporated.  (This takes approximately 4-5 minutes.)  Once all the water is cooked-off, pan fry each side until golden brown.  Remove from heat.

Yields: 2-4 servings

An easy-to-make and delicious meat alternative!Viet-Style Mock Roast Pork Sandwich...YUM!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mock Roast Pork Banh Mi

 

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Stir-Fried Egg Noodles (Mi Xao Mem)

Stir-Fried Egg Noodles - Who won't love oodles of noodles with roast pork and veggies?This scrumptious dish with abundant egg noodles, vegetables and roast pork is my go-to-dish when there’s a potluck at work, a gathering of girlfriends for good food and gossip or an easy buffet-style dinner with family and friends.  I find this dish to be universally appealing even with pickiest or less than adventurous eaters.  I think it’s because everyone loves noodles!  I made 3 different versions of this recipe one time for a party because I was unsure of my guests’ preference for meat.  The first version was this recipe with the roast pork.  For the second version ,  I substituted the roast pork for eggs.  (I fried the eggs omelette style and then cut into thin strips.)  The third dish was made with tofu and mushroom stir fry sauce for the strict vegetarians.  All 3 dishes were a hit and one extremely hungry guest mixed all 3 versions together to make a fourth combination which he claims should be its own recipe…LOL.  I hope you enjoy this really easy recipe!

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

Drying the noodles is an important step to getting the right consistency for the noodles.  If you’re short on time, dry the noodles in the oven at 225-250 degrees F for 30-45 minutes.  Keep an eye on them because you don’t want to bake the noodles so they’re crispy.  (That’s another dish.)  The noodles should still be soft but not wet.

This is one of those recipes where a good amount of oil is used.  I know some of you cringe at the thought of using tablespoons of oil in your cooking.  If you don’t care about the noodles sticking and clumping together, you can cut back on the.  It’ll taste just fine and you’ll feel better about it.

The vegetables in the dish are my recommendations but feel free to add veggies you like such as mushrooms, peppers, squash, cabbage, etc.  If your stir-fried veggies produces excess liquid, don’t add the liquid into the noodles.  This will make them soggy.  Instead use a slotted spoon to transfer the vegetables into the noodles and leave the liquid behind.

Consider using a deli chicken or pick-up roast pork from your local Asian restaurant if you don’t have time to make the roast pork.  Leftover meats are also a great shortcut too.

Watch the video below for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Stir-fried Seafood Noodles (Hu Tieu Xao Do Bien) and Crispy Noodle and Beef Stir-Fry (Mi Xao Gion/Don).

Ingredients

1-15 oz package thin egg noodles
2 garlic cloves
3 carrots
3 stalks celery
1/2 onion
1 bok choy
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sugar
4 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

8 oz Roast Pork or meat of your choice, use pan-fried Seitan or tofu for vegetarian option

Directions

Remove noodles from packaging.  Unravel the bundles and loosen the strands with your fingers.  Use kitchen shears to cut noodles into shorter lengths.

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.  Add noodles and swirl around in the hot water for 30 seconds.  Drain in a colander and then rinse the noodles with cold water to stop the cooking process.  Toss the noodles in the colander and then lift the noodles using chopsticks multiple times to remove as much of the remaining water as possible.  Spread the noodles out flat on several large platters or trays and allow to air dry for 2 hours.

Cut roast pork, other meat or meat substitute of your choice into thin strips.

Finely mince the garlic and set aside.  Peel carrots, cut into slices and then julienne.  Cut celery into 2-inch sections and then cut into thin strips.  Thinly slice the onions.  For the bok choy, separate the leaves from the stems.  Cut the stems just like the celery.  For the leaves, chop into smaller sections.

Add soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar into a measuring cup or bowl and stir to combine.

Heat a large wok over Medium High heat.  When it’s hot, add 1 Tbsp vegetable oil and the garlic.  Stir fry for 10 seconds.  Add the carrots and stir fry for 1 minute.  Add the celery and stir fry for 1 minute.  Add the onions and bok choy stems and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the bok choy leaves and cook for 1 minute until they are wilted.  Turn-off the heat.  Drizzle 2 Tbsp of the stir fry sauce and combine together.  Add some black pepper.  Scoop out the vegetables and place in a clean bowl.

Set the heat to Medium High.  Add 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil into the wok.  Add the noodles spreading them out in the wok. (Cook in several batches if you have a small wok.)  Cook for 6-7 minutes tossing constantly in the pan and then spreading the noodles out so they fry evenly.  If the noodles start sticking together, drizzle in a bit more vegetable oil.  Try not to let the noodles cook in a large clump.  Spread them out so they are always touching the hot wok.  Add the vegetables, roast pork, other meat or meat substitute and remaining sauce.  Stir fry for another 2-3 minutes.  Sprinkle with black pepper.

This dish can be enjoyed hot or cold.

Yields: 4-6 servings

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Won Ton Noodle Soup (Mi Hoanh Thanh)

Won Ton Noodle Soup (Mi Hoanh Thanh) | recipe from runawayrice.comAs the weather cools I gravitate toward soupy dishes and my favorite soups always have lots of noodles like this delicious Won Ton Noodle Soup.  The soup is quite eclectic with its variety of ingredients.  It has hearty meat-filled dumplings, savory roast pork, succulent shrimp, leafy greens, oodles of egg noodles, sprigs of fresh herbs and a sautéed garlic topping to add the right amount of spice.  (Are you drooling yet?)  This belly warming dish is a great meal to make when you have leftover roast pork as  you don’t need much for this recipe.  As for the home-made won tons, with practice, you’ll get really good and can wipe out 16 of these dumplings in a matter of minutes.  If you don’t have time to make the garlic topping, you can buy it at your Asian grocer.  (This topping is fantastic to have around and adds wonderful taste and texture to soups and stir fry.)  You can’t go wrong with this one-bowl wonder!  Enjoy!

Watch the video below for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Vermicelli Soup with Chicken, Steamed Pork Roll and Egg (Bun Thang) and Thick Noodles and Fish Cake Soup (Banh Canh Cha Ca).

Ingredients

for the Won Ton
1/4 lb ground pork
6-size 31/40 shrimp, cleaned and deveined
2 Tbsp finely minced onions
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
16 pieces won ton wrapper

for the Noodle Soup
14 oz package won ton noodles (thin egg noodles)
3-14.5 oz cans chicken broth
2 cups water
1 tsp salt (to taste)
1/2 sweet onion, quartered
8-size 31/40 shrimp, cleaned and deveined, tail on
8-10 sprigs chives, washed and cut into 2-inch sections
4 bunches baby bok choy, washed

for the Garlic Topping
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp vegetable oil

Serve with
3-4 oz roast pork
2 tsp sesame oil

Directions

Making the Noodles

Remove noodle bundles from packaging and place in a large colander.  Use your fingers to loosen the strands.

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.  Drop the noodles into the water.  Stir the noodles in the hot water and cook it for just 1 minute.

Pour the cooked noodles into a large colander and rinse several times with cool water to stop the cooking process.

Toss the noodles in the colander multiple times and remove as much of the remaining water as possible.  Place a piece of paper towel on a large plate.  Spread the noodles evenly on the plate and allow to air dry.

Making the Won Ton

Cut the shrimp into thin slices.   Add shrimp to the pork along with all seasonings.  Mix everything together combining all ingredients well.

Take a won ton wrapper and place it on a cutting board with one of the corners pointed toward you.  Place approximately 1/2 tablespoon of filling in the center of the wrapper.  Dip your finger in water and run it along the top edges of the wrapper.  Take the corner closest to you and fold it over, lining up the edges to form a triangle.  Gently press your fingers along the edges to seal the wrapper.

With your index finger, gently push up at the center point of the won ton making  a small indentation.  Dip a your finger in water and dab the right corner of the won ton.  Now pull the 2 corners together so the wrapper overlaps.  Pinch the wrapper together to seal.  Continue making the won tons until all of the filling is used.

Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil.  Drop the dumplings into the hot water, a few at a time.  Gently stir the won ton making sure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.  Cook the dumplings for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.  Don’t allow the water to boil too rapidly or the dumplings will break.   Use a slotted spoon to remove the dumplings and place into a colander.  Allow to drain.

Making the Garlic Topping

Add minced garlic and oil to small skillet.  Saute the garlic over medium high heat until it’s golden brown–approximately 2-3 minutes.

Making the Soup

Add chicken broth, water and onions into a stockpot.  Cover pot and bring the broth to a boil.  Turn the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove the onions and discard.  Taste the broth and add more salt if desired.  Add the bok choy and cook for 1 minute.  Turn off the heat and add the shrimp.

To serve, add a generous amount of noodles into a bowl.  Drizzle 1/2 tsp of sesame oil on the noodles.  Add the won tons, roast pork, bok choy, shrimp and fresh chives to the bowl.  Ladle a generous amount of broth filling the bowl.  Spoon a bit of the garlic topping.  Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.  Enjoy while hot!

Yields: 4 servings

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Easy Roast Pork (Thit Xa Xiu)

Sweet and savory roast pork is a must-have and must-know recipe for all Asian food lovers.  Roast pork is used as an ingredient in many Asian dishes from stir-frys and noodle soups to sandwiches and steamed buns.

Learn this easy, no fuss recipe.  I don’t use the store-bought seasoning packet but show you how to make the marinade from-scratch.  Did you know that some seasoning packets contain wheat?  Yes, it’s from the soy sauce powder.  Try this wheat-free marinade which also has less sugar and no red food coloring.  (I know we’re use to see our roast pork a bright artificial red.)

Pork not your favorite?  This recipe works well with chicken too.  The process is the same but use a meat thermometer and check the recommended cooking guidelines.

 Watch the video below for instructions.

Ingredients

1 pound pork shoulder or butt
1 Tbsp granulated onion
1 Tbsp paprika powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
1/2 tsp 5-spice powder
4 Tbsp gluten-free tamari or soy sauce
4 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp sweet sake or rice wine
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp sesame oil

2 Tbsp rice vinegar
water

Directions

Cut pork into smaller pieces, about 6 inches long by 3 inches thick.

Mix dry spices in a measuring cup.  Add tamari/soy sauce, water, sake/rice wine, honey and sesame oil.  Stir marinade until well-blended.

Put pork in a plastic sealable bag and pour in the marinade.  Seal the bag and then work it with your hands to evenly distribute the marinade.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pour rice vinegar into a baking dish.  Add enough water to cover the bottom of the baking dish, no more than 1/4″ high.  Insert the roasting tray.  Place pork pieces on top of the roasting tray allowing room between each pork piece.  Cover the dish with foil and seal well.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature is 145-150 degrees.  Remove from oven and unwrap the foil.   Be careful as there is steam inside.

Allow the meat to rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Yields:  3-4 servings

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